The World Health Organization (WHO) defines intimate partner violence as "...any behaviour within an intimate relationship that causes physical, psychological or sexual harm to those in the relationship, including acts of physical aggression, sexual coercion, psychological abuse and controlling behaviors." The most extreme form of such violence may be termed intimate terrorism, coercive controlling violence, or simply coercive control, which is where one person is violent and controlling; this is generally perpetrated by men against women, and is the most likely of the types to require medical services and the use of a women's shelter.
It may occur between heterosexual or homosexual couples and victims can be male or female.
Children in homes where there is domestic violence are more likely to be abused and/or neglected.
Most children in these homes know about the violence.
Domestic violence and emotional abuse are behaviors used by one person in a relationship to control the other.
Partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay, or lesbian; living together, separated or dating.